Discuss research into the breakdown of romantic relationships (24 marks)
One piece of research in to the breakdown of romantic relationships is by Duck and Rollie from their theory of relationship dissolution. They stated that there are 4 stages to how relationships break down: intra-psychic, dyadic, social and finally grave-dressing. The intra-psychic phase starts the breakdown by the two partners discussing plans to try and save their relationship. The second part, the dyadic stage, is where partners assess the other’s behaviour to evaluate the costs of withdrawing from the relationships. The social phase is where both people “go public” with their break-up. The final stage, grave-dressing, is where each partner questions their decision and considers how the break-up has impacted their social network.
There is support for this study through empirical evidence. Tashiro and Frazier surveyed undergraduates who have just been through a break-up. All participants reported emotional distress and personal growth of which the researchers were able to find that grave dressing was also a contributing factor, meaning that people are able to put relationships at rest. This helps improve the studies internal validity.
Weaknesses of the study is by there being a methodological flaw. This is due to there being a sample bias as there is only undergraduates that take part in this study. Due to this, it makes results ungeneralisable, reducing population validity. The study is also deterministic as it says that breakdowns happen in 4 stages, ignoring that people have free will and all relationships break down differently. The study can be seen as logical, however, as it can explain how people go through different feelings at during a breakdown. This means that individual differences can be applied to breakdowns in everyday life.
Other research in to breakdown of relationships is by Lees. Similar to Rollie and Duck’s theory, Lees’ theory happens in stages. The difference...